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Breathwork is an umbrella term for various New Age practices in which the conscious control of breathing is meant to influence mental, emotional and physical state – sometimes to claimed therapeutic effect.[1]

Breathwork can cause a sense of altered consciciousness that may cause distress and has no proven positive health impact other than perhaps promoting relaxation;[2] some people use breathwork to attempt to achieve a state of altered consciousness for fun or spiritual growth.[3]

There are many types of Breathwork which have emerged over the last few decades, including Integrative Breathwork, Holotropic Breathwork, Rebirthing, Transformational Breathwork, Shamanic Breathwork, Conscious Connected Breathing, Radiance Breathwork, Zen Yoga Breathwork and many others.

Older non-Western techniques such as Yoga, Pranayama, T'ai chi, and Qigong are also offered as systems where the breath is used to direct and enhance the body's energy and aid in the release of old emotions. Similarly the many schools and teachers of mindfulness are also using breathing techniques that can date back to and beyond the time of the Buddha.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Young JS, Cashwell CS, Giordano AL (2010). "Breathwork as a therapeutic modality: an overview for counselors". Counseling and Values. 55 (1): 113. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.2010.tb00025.x. 
  2. ^ Ades TB, ed. (2009). "Breathwork". American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies (2nd ed.). American Cancer Society. pp. 72–74. ISBN 9780944235713. 
  3. ^ "I Tried to Trip Using Only My Breath | VICE | United States". 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2016-09-24.